Storms Ahead - Are You Ready?
Your trusted allies at SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills warmly encourage you to prepare for the coming winter storms this year! Enjoy this blog about preparing storm emergency preparedness kits.
When it comes to weather, we mostly have it made in Southern California. But the whole point of being prepared for an emergency is things can change and when they do, its important to have planned in advance.
As we head into ‘winter’, we should use the many good days of weather we enjoy to prepare for when the weather turns. Having a storm kit ready when you need it is an important consideration.
Every good storm kit should include these following items:
- Bottled water – A good rule of thumb is to set aside a minimum of one gallon per day for a minimum of three days per person. This water will be used for everything from cooking to drinking to hygiene, so if anything, this could be light.
- Food – This needs to be shelf-stable food. You are setting this aside and it will be ready for you when you need it. But don’t assume you’ll have refrigeration. Think of yourself as ‘roughing it’. of gases inside the can).
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- Flashlight – pack an extra round of batteries in your kit ‘just in case’.
- First aid kit
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
- Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
- Extra batteries – Besides the flashlight, have enough batteries to power a radio, lantern, and any other ‘emergency’ appliances.
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
In addition to these items, here is a short add-on of other things you might want to make sure you're prepared with.
Additional items you must not be without:
- Prescription medications
- Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
- Glasses and contact lense solution
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler's checks
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account
- records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Of course, once the kits are created the first time, its essential to ensure your kits are ready when you need them. Here's how to main them!
Maintaining Your Kit
To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.
After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed:
Keep canned food in a cool, dry place
- If you are storing your kits for a long period, make the effort to periodically check your food supply in case the expiration dates are approaching. Most canned items are safe for 18 to 24 months. You’ll know your canned food has expired if you see any can swell (indicates build up
- Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers – cardboard and paper packaging is like a ‘welcome’ sign for rats.
- Replace expired items as needed
- Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.
Kit Storage Locations
- Emergencies don’t care where we are when they happen. We have to out-smart them! The best way to do this is to keep multiples in locations including home, work and vehicles.
- Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
- Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.
- Vehicle: In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.